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Germany

Minister Rethinks Moving Federal Police

In response to protests over plans to move the federal police force (BKA) to Berlin, Interior Minister Otto Schily conceded that the decision was not final. Schily announced last week that Germany’s version of the FBI would be uprooted from its current locations south of Bonn and from Wiesbaden in order to facilitate communication and coordinate efforts in the war on terror with other intelligence agencies in Berlin. On Tuesday however, Schily said he was open to criticism as some 800 people turned out to demonstrate against the planned move, which would affect a total of some 2,000 employees. State authorities in North Rhine-Westphalia and Hesse, where the two branches are located, as well as members of the conservative opposition have accused Schily of practicing "centralism." Chancellor Gerhard Schröder has refused to comment on the move.

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